What Not to Discuss During a College Interview

While every college admission process is different, you may find that you are required to participate in an interview as part of the admissions process for colleges you are interested in attending. The interview stage of the admission process can be very intimidating, as you want to make sure you perform at your absolute best. While each interview may be distinct, here are some general topics to avoid discussing.

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Disparaging remarks

Try to keep your interview discussions as positive as possible. There is no need to bash other schools, rant about negative people in your life, or touch on really anything disparaging for that matter. If you had a tough experience in school, show the interviewer what you learned from the situation. Honesty is the best policy, so just be the best version of yourself.


Interviewers do not need to hear how much money your family makes or what financial help you are seeking for tuition. Keep conversations like these out of your college interview—financial aid is another topic for another time. As far as discussions about scholarships are concerned, it’s not necessarily a bad idea to ask if the interviewer knows of any great scholarship opportunities for which you could apply. But you do not want to be too pushy! If they do not have any insight, it would be a good idea to just move on.

How much you prepared for the interview

You want to prepare for the interview as much as you can, while also making sure you do not sound too rehearsed. You may even want to consider participating in mock interviews beforehand. However, you shouldn’t try to impress your interviewer by sharing how much time went into preparation for the interview, or even worse, how nervous you are. It is human nature to be worried about being interviewed, but try not to let it show. Remember to be confident and simply engage in a natural conversation with your interviewer.

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It is inappropriate to inquire to your college interviewer whether or not you will be accepted to the school. Instead, help make their decision a bit easier by not touching on such things and maturely addressing the questions at hand. If you make the effort to be a stellar interviewee and focus on the relevant topics being discussed, you are more likely to impress—and more likely to get an acceptance letter!

Mundane information about the school

You should not ask obvious questions to your interviewer that you can easily look up online. Details such as how many students attend or what year the school was founded should be things you already know. Instead, ask your interviewer more educated questions that you cannot find by doing a simple Google search. Ask about things like the campus culture, outside involvement opportunities, or educational experiences offered outside the classroom.

Any lack of interest

Not every school is going to be your first choice, and by no means should you ever tell your interviewer this! You never know what you may learn about the school in your interview, so be sure to go in with an open mind. You may find that the college actually checks off all of your requirements for the perfect school.

Now that you know what not to discuss in your college interview, be sure to brush up on all of the topics that you should discuss as well. Remember to not only tell the interviewer about your experiences, but also show them. Use vivid examples of all that you have accomplished and you can ace that interview. Good luck!